Asda supermarket plans are approved

Focus,Buckingham which may become an Asda.
Focus,Buckingham which may become an Asda.

Plans for an Asda store on the Buckingham bypass have been approved.

Support from residents for the scheme to put a new store on the disused former Focus site was overwhelming when Asda held a public consultation event last September.

The proposal also won support from Buckingham Town Council.

Applications were submitted to Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) in February for alterations to the building and additional car parking and for change of use to permit the sale of food and drink.

The only objection to the scheme was on behalf of Waitrose, expressing concern over potential impact on its town centre store and the town centre generally.

Plans for the new Asda store, which the company said would create 160 jobs, were finally approved last week by officers at AVDC, under delegated powers.

County and district councillor for Buckingham, Robin Stuchbury, said: “We don’t know what the long-term effects will be but the employment opportunities will be a positive. This is a small supermarket which will give competition to Tesco for food prices.

“It will give people an alternative to going to Milton Keynes for their food shopping.

“I hope it means Tesco will start brushing their prices up and offering better value.

“But do we need a large Sainsbury’s now we’ve got two supermarkets, and can the town sustain it?”

District councillor for Buckingham Howard Mordue said: “I’ve always believed in healthy competition.

“It seems healthy competition is running rife in Buckingham with supermarkets and maybe it will be a question of survival of the fittest.

“I’m not sure the catchment area is large enough to sustain all of them. Let’s hope other companies apart from retail food outlets come to Buckingham.”